The PYAC Story

This is the PYAC Story as only Dr. Ronda Dennis- Smithart could tell it. These are her words and her story.

"I originally left residency and joined a practice in Ottumwa, where I now live. There were a couple of sought after practices in Iowa, and this was one of them, because Ottumwa was known as Mini-Iowa City. The   medical community was exclusively specialists and 1-2 family docs.  All were UI trained, and the ages of docs ranged from new to mid-career docs.  All maintained tight academic connections with UI, and even at the UI, we were known as a high quality community hospital.  I worked at that office for one year, when offered to join as a partner, I decided not to. I left the practice along with another MD and we started our own practice.

Our practice, Pediatric Associates, was immediately successful and we were soon working 80-100 hours each week, with no end in sight.  My husband and I began to feel that our daughter was being raised by the babysitter.  After much soul searching-I made the difficult decision to leave the practice and patients that I loved and became a stay-at-home mom.  It was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, because I’d always wanted to be a doctor; but I loved being a mom even more.

When she was a bit older, I accepted a part-time position with an agency that did exams for the state of Iowa.  Later, I was offered a position with the newly developed Physician’s Clinic at Mahaska County Hospital.  Shortly after I knew it was time to go for my dream

That's when PYAC began.  We started June 16, 2003.  On June 13 the new administrator called me and said of our current building, “. . . Demolition starts Monday 6/16-you need to be out by Sunday 6/15 midnight." I had patients scheduled for the next week to months, no phone, no building, nothing!  However,  I did have  a great nurse, Lori. She planned to leave the hospital with me.  We started brainstorming, and by 5pm I had found office space, and we started moving that night.  Somehow, we pulled it off, and were open for business on Monday!

We remained in that location a couple of years.  Meanwhile, husband Mikeapair began designing my clinic.  He did a really good job - the layout works very well for me.  We had a contractor pour concrete and put up studs, roofing, and Mike and my Dad did the rest.  They completed my section (downstairs) first, and then finished the upstairs, which we now rent to another doctor (from the hospital clinic days) and a physical therapy group.

I'd tried to get Christy to join me for a number of years, without success.  Then Mike had a quadruple bypass, and I needed someone to cover the practice-and Christy was willing to do so.  She fell in love with my nurses, our teamwork, and my patients.  As they say, “the rest is history.”

What doesn’t come out in my story is the continuous blessing we received so many times along the way. The Lord has truly had His hand in the PYAC story.